If you’re like most insurance agency owners, you have an ideal client you’re trying to reach with your marketing. But how do you reach more of them, consistently and cost-effectively?
The difference between advertising that works and advertising that doesn’t often comes down to methodology. In marketing, there are two schools of thought for attracting the right prospects: brand awareness and direct response. And if you’re an independent agency, it’s best to focus on the latter.
Direct response marketing involves fast-acting messages with a direct offer to a targeted list, such as targeted direct mail, pay-per-click, infomercials and email marketing. Compared to branding and awareness campaigns, which often amount to not much more than “spraying and praying,” direct response marketing [see sidebar] puts a unique offer in front of a smaller number of specific targets.
As an independent agency, your budget isn’t unlimited, which means you’ve got to make the most of it. For you, the most effective marketing tactics are easy to track; cost you money only when they do their job; and drive results, fast.
As a result, direct responders to your offers are prequalified and already familiar with and trusting of your brand, leading to more wins for your team. Consistent marketing lead flow of the right type of prospects results in more qualified opportunities in your sales team’s pipeline.
Effective advertising impacts your bottom line. Remember, if your ads aren’t driving in new business, they are costing you in more ways than one. Besides the fact that you’re paying for advertising in cash or goodwill, you should also consider the opportunity costs.
Bad marketing is terrible for sales. Low-quality leads hurt the team’s confidence and kill positive energy. Too many leads, meanwhile, result in salespeople wasting time sifting through prospects trying to determine who’s actually ready to buy. And no leads translate to no money—now your sales force is looking to jump ship.
A team that relies solely upon referrals is a stagnant team. Your agency’s marketing is the difference between a good and a bad year.
Cam Bob III is founder of Infinity Leads, a customer acquisition agency for independent insurance agencies. In 2018, Bob III was named Young Innovator of the Year by British private equity firm CVC Capital in the development of a cutting-edge digital lead generation system for insurance agencies.
| How To Do It
Here are five steps you can take to improve your direct marketing campaigns:
- Set distinct production goals.
- Laser-in on a specific type of prospect.
- Conduct A/B test campaigns for optimal results.
- Use landing pages and funnels—websites are for clients, not prospects.
- Follow best practices. The insurance marketplace is competitive, so update what you’re doing, or at least get an audit. —C.B.